Zagato Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake Built for European Buyer.

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Zagato Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake Built for European Buyer.

To celebrate its 95th anniversary and its three generations of family leadership, Zagato unveiled its second vehicle customization of 2014, the Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake Zagato, at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Concours d'Elegance.

What exactly is a shooting brake? It used to be a vehicle that carried shooting parties with their equipment and whatever game they caught. Now, some think of it as a sleek wagon with two doors, a cross between an estate and a coupe, a less "squatty" hatchback with a more interesting profile, or a luxury coupe with rigorous, 2-door styling and a functional boot space. All of these definitions are relatively similar, and so it is safe to say that Zagato's rendition of the Virage embodies whatever a shooting brake really is.

The shooting brake is originally a British design, but over the years it has gained popularity with many Italian custom car companies. A few examples of Italian shooting brakes include the Fiat 130 Maremma by Pininfarina, Ferrari 330 GTC 2+2 by Vignale, Lamborghini Flying Star by Touring, Aston Martin Jet 2 by Bertone, Mercedes 230 SLX Shooting Brake by Frua, and Mercedes-Benz S600 V12 Shooting Brake by Zagato.

This particular Aston Martin Shooting Brake by Zagato was commissioned by a European client and signifies a few important things for not only Zagato, but Aston Martin as well. It is a bespoke design of the Virage with cutting-edge stylizations. It is also a celebration of Zagato's 95th anniversary, and as such, it pays homage to the Italian coach-building tradition on the canvas of a shooting brake body style. Lastly, it finalizes the Aston Martin and Zagato centennial trilogy lineup, which began with the DBS Coupe Zagato Centennial and the DB9 Spider Zagato Centennial.

The centennial trilogy lineup is by no means the first or the last collaboration between Zagato and Aston Martin. The British automaker and the Italian customizer first worked together in 1960 to shed some weight off of the DB4GT. It was 25 years until they joined forces again. This time on the V8 Vantage and then the V8 Volante. Since '86, the collaborations have been more frequent and as fruitful and unique as ever. Expect a lot more great collaborations between these two.

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